I met Shayna Love at a recent networking event and from the moment she introduced herself, I knew I was speaking to a true artist. Filled with an undeniable energy and passion for music, she's poised to be a very recognizable figure in the industry sooner than you would think.
Her most recent project, Invitation to My Sanity EP, is just a preview of what she's capable of achieving. With an earthy tone and relatable vibe, her content should resonate with every woman, whether she be Brooklyn Boheme or Broadway Diva. Below is a snippet of a conversation we had recently to discuss her past, present and future, one that is very bright.
Be: [So, when did you discover yourself?]
SL: Well, Shayna Love is a name that was given to me by a plutonic friend and it just kind of stuck. As far as being an artist, I didn't discover that part of me until I was in a relationship with a very special person. I was really inspired by him telling me that I could sing, because I didn't always know I could. When he told me that, I believed him, and ran with it. Besides that, moving to Chicago was a huge inspiration.
[What makes you different from other artists?]
I think that the fact that I'm true to myself, that tends to stand out. Not to say others aren't but a lot of [popular music] is ...exaggerated, fabricated, bedazzled. I like to throw a little glitter on when it comes to videos or photoshoots, but for the most part I'm just telling my story. These days if you're a female artist you're either Trina or...
Right, but I'm just Shayna.
[What made you decide to go the traditional mixtape route? Not too many female R&B artists use that format.]
Because that's what a mixtape is to me, [I wanted to take it back to] like when Nicki Minaj, and [Lil] Wayne were coming up, they had a lot of industry beats. To sum it up, it gives listeners an insight into what you like, and a familiar backdrop that you have to make your own if you're creative enough. "Control" is a prime example..."Long Day" is another one. ["Long Day"] was over "The Recipe" instrumental, so it's not on soundcloud, Dr. Dre wasn't having that. But even the video for that, [I tried to make my own].
[Speaking of the videos, how much influence did you have with the concepts?]
I had some, but I can't take all the credit. I've been working closely with Pugs Atomz, he's a great friend and amazing artist and he really directed the majority of the visuals for this project. He has a great vision, it was his idea to put our own spin on [Alanis Morisette's] "Ironic" video.
[Word, word. Any future projects coming up?]
I am working on a few major things, that I'm not really announcing yet. Invitation to My Sanity was released to keep the fans appeased and to keep the buzz going. I have some singles and a video directed by APJ films in the works for the time being. But there are some big things coming, so stay tuned.
[Coolies. Last question, so what was your favorite TV show as a kid?]
[Laughter] umm, I would have to say The Fresh Prince. I remember when I was a kid I would use to try to email [Will Smith] with whatever we were using back then. Probably AOL.
[Definitely AOL, I remember hella free trials coming in the mail back then]
[Laughs] Right, yeah I use to email him all the time to tell him how I much ain't loved him and thought of him as my big brother, it was definitely The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Esse Quam Videri is a Latin phrase meaning "to be, rather than to seem". I chose that as the title of this series, besides my own vanity, because there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes in the lives of rappers, singers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, etc. I think that in order to really appreciate these artists and their work, it would help to know more about them, their mindset and their process. Let us know what you think of this new series and Ms. Shayna Love in the comments section below and #GoWhereYouLove.
(Special shoutout to my girl, Mylissa @Ticklemehellno for helping me come up with the concept.)